Five Ways to Reduce Credit Card Fraud at Your Tour or Attraction This Summer

Matt Lederman
April 23, 2024

The tourism industry is going through a period of massive change when it comes to payments. Digital wallets, RFID bracelets, and online ticket and retail sales have become more popular than ever for tours and attractions.

While there are countless benefits that these new technologies bring, they can be susceptible to fraud. As online payments became the norm in the wake of COVID-19, reports of credit card fraud in the United States rose by 113% from 2019 numbers, for total losses topping $3.3 billion.

Thankfully, fraud protection is moving just as fast to ensure that public faith in online payments remains intact, so consumers and businesses alike can safely enjoy the convenience brought by online payments.

If your tour or attraction accepts online payments in any form, it may be worthwhile to refresh yourself, and your customers, on some common practices to ensure the safety of your identity and transactions.

Here are five common strategies to avoid credit card fraud at your operation so you can ensure your payment processor account isn’t suspended, save money on chargebacks, and most importantly, focus on delivering a great guest experience this summer.

1. Look for common warning signs

It has been said that the best defense is a good offense. It is certainly the case that the most effective way to reduce credit card fraud is to familiarize yourself with the most common ways it presents itself for a tour or attraction.

Below is a compiled list of the most common signals that a transaction may be fraudulent.

  • Orders that include several of the same items, especially when it would be unusual to purchase multiple
  • Orders made up of “big-ticket” items that have high resale value
  • “Rush” or “overnight” orders
  • Orders that fail AVS (Address Verification Service) or CID (the three-digit value on the back of the card)
  • An international order from a country that your business doesn’t market to for a product the cardholder should be able to purchase at home
  • Multiple purchases on the same day
  • Multiple purchases from the same IP address
  • Orders shipped to a single address but made on multiple cards
  • Multiple transactions on one card or similar cards with a single billing address but multiple shipping addresses
  • Multiple failed attempts to purchase prior to a passing authorization

Once you’re aware of what you’re looking for, you can employ the following common strategies to protect yourself.

2. Sign up for authentication programs

Authentication programs protect businesses and consumers by requiring a password to verify identity online. The most common authentication programs are Verified by VISA and Mastercard Secure Code. Each of these programs does charge a small processing fee to use, but offers the following advantages:

  • Additional prevention layer
  • Card issuer will take the loss off your books
  • Software managed and improved by experts

3. Use an address verification system

This is the step in the online checkout process where the system matches your billing address to what’s on file at the bank. Although it does create a bit more friction in your checkout, customers are quite used to this step (their browsers may even pre-populate this information) and it is a simple way to add one more layer of protection to your process.

4. Use software to flag suspicious transactions

Online payment processing has advanced significantly, now incorporating complex fraud detection and prevention strategies that utilize machine learning and analyze millions of data points. A standout service in this domain is Stripe’s Radar.

At RocketRez, we understand the heightened risks of fraud in the tours and attractions industry, which is why we offer Stripe's Radar free to our customers. This tool not only reduces the frequency of fraud-related chargebacks and disputes but also enhances your revenue by ensuring that legitimate transactions are processed smoothly. Stripe’s data shows a 26% year-over-year reduction in disputes for Radar customers.

Here are several ways Stripe Radar enhances your business:

  • Revenue Optimization: By minimizing false positives, Radar ensures that legitimate transactions proceed smoothly, boosting your revenue potential.
  • Cost Savings: Radar helps block fraudulent actors, significantly reducing the financial burden associated with dispute resolution and the operational costs of managing chargebacks.
  • Risk Mitigation: Ensures your business remains compliant with external regulations and standards set by card networks.

5. Accept EMV chip cards

Lastly, this is the primary way to reduce fraud for on-site, in-person purchases. Ensure that your location is equipped with great hardware with the latest chip technology for payment processing. If you’re not using the latest payment hardware with fraud protection built-in, now is the time to consider an upgrade.

Effective credit card fraud prevention can all but eliminate credit card fraud for your business. Now may be the time to refresh your team on protocols and invest in new strategies to ensure your business is fraud-proof going forward.

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Matt Lederman
Marketing Manager